But the nation’s largest gay-rights group, EGALE Canada, maintains that defending a religious tradition that mutes gay students’ ability to call themselves “gay” is a form of bigotry.
“There is no way to defend that, period,” EGALE Canada executive director Helen Kennedy told the National Post. “It’s indefensible. It is just plain ignorance.”
Her organization produced a report last year that claimed ”20.8 per cent of LGBTQ students indicated being physically harassed due to their sexual orientation, compared to 7.9 per cent of non-LGBTQ participants.”
The larger question of whether lawmakers can legislate a solution to childhood bullying remains unaddressed, at least in North America.
Peter Jon Mitchell, senior researcher at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, concluded in a May 24 report that every Canadian province already has a law addressing bullying. Ontario alone, he added, spent $150 million on its own “safe school” programs from 2007 to 2010 — without making schools bully-free.
“Bullying is a big problem and Canadians often look to government to solve large challenges,” Mitchell wrote.
“The law may provide a supporting context, but it cannot regulate and repair school yard relationships.